U.S. press on the rise and fall of the Paisley dynasty
Mark Holan's Irish-American Blog
by Mark Holan
1w ago
Ian Paisley Jr.’s defeat in the United Kingdom elections marks the first time in 54 years that the family will not represent Northern Ireland’s North Antrim constituency at Westminster. The Rev. Paisley Sr. entered Parliament in June 1970, then 15 months later founded the militant Democratic Unionist Party. Now, the DUP’s loss of two other seats in the July 4 election means it is no longer the largest or dominant party among 18 representatives from Northern Ireland. Paisley’s defeat has been called “a political earthquake,” one that reveals division among those who seek to maintain Northern Ir ..read more
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Sinn Féin wins Northern Ireland as unionism splits
Mark Holan's Irish-American Blog
by Mark Holan
1w ago
This post will be curated through July 7. MH UPDATE 3: Nationalist Sinn Féin has emerged as the largest U.K. parliamentary party in Northern Ireland by holding its seven seats from the 2019 election while the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) lost three seats in a split among unionists. Sinn Féin now has the most seats in local council offices, the power-sharing Northern Ireland Assembly, and at Westminster, though the party does not take its seats in the London parliament. The unionist debacle included the “political earthquake” of the DUP loosing the North Antrim seat held by the late firebran ..read more
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Post-treaty Ireland’s brief, ‘sheer nationalist happiness’
Mark Holan's Irish-American Blog
by Mark Holan
2w ago
Col. Frederick Palmer, a veteran American war correspondent, sailed into the Queenstown harbor on Feb. 2, 1922. His use of the town name that honored Victoria’s 1849 visit drew a quick correction from “an Irishman on board my steamer,” Palmer later reported. The passenger informed him the name was changed to Cobh with the establishment of the Irish Free State. The correspondent used the anecdote to open his exploration of “how it feels for the Irish to be free, and what the Irish are going to do with their freedom.” Palmer told his U.S. readers: “It is from the people by the way-side that one ..read more
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American Commission’s 1920 Irish independence reading list
Mark Holan's Irish-American Blog
by Mark Holan
1M ago
The American Commission on Irish Independence emerged from the February 1919 Irish Race Convention in Philadelphia. Frank P. Walsh, a former Wilson administration labor lawyer, chaired the activist group’s three-member delegation to the Paris peace conference later that spring to lobby for Ireland. Then, the trio made an outspoken and controversial stop in Ireland. By January 1920, Walsh was at work promoting the Irish bond drive in America. Frank P. Walsh On Jan. 29, 1920, Walsh wrote to Monsignor John Hagan, rector of the Pontifical Irish College in Rome and a supporter of the Irish republ ..read more
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Irish local and E.U. election outcomes offer surprises
Mark Holan's Irish-American Blog
by Mark Holan
1M ago
This post will be updated through June 16. MH UPDATE 1: ” … The modern Sinn Féin on the one hand drew on the same kind of ethnonationalist identity politics that now fuel the far right across Europe, the United States and elsewhere. Yet on the other, it thought of itself as a progressive socialist party, committed to equality and inclusion. … This doubleness created a kind of ambivalence that was very useful in a society experiencing a very rapid transition from monoculture to multiculture. … And for about a quarter of a century, this accidental mechanism was extremely effective. … What we’ve ..read more
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On recognition & partition: Ireland, Israel, & Palestine
Mark Holan's Irish-American Blog
by Mark Holan
1M ago
Ireland’s decision to recognize Palestinian statehood has gravely disrupted diplomatic relations between Ireland and Israel. The latter condemned the gesture as “a reward for terrorism” perpetrated by Hamas in October and withdrew its ambassador from Dublin. On May 22, Irish Taoiseach Simon Harris said: “On the 21st of January 1919 Ireland asked the world to recognize our right to be an independent State. Our ‘Message to the Free Nations of the World’ was a plea for international recognition of our independence, emphasizing our distinct national identity, our historical struggle, and our righ ..read more
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Dev’s last visit ‘home’ to USA; Ireland’s ‘cruel partition’
Mark Holan's Irish-American Blog
by Mark Holan
1M ago
Irish President Éamon de Valera made a state visit to the United States in May 1964 that bookended U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s trip to Ireland 11 months earlier. Kennedy was 46 when he set foot on Irish soil for the fifth time, the first time as U.S. leader. He was assassinated five months later in Dallas. De Valera was 81 when he made his sixth journey to America, his second U.S. trip in six months. He died in 1975, aged 92. “This is the country of your birth, Mr. President. This will always be your home,” U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson reminded de Velera during a welcome ceremony on t ..read more
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U.S. opinion on Ireland, 1919: the view from Rome
Mark Holan's Irish-American Blog
by Mark Holan
2M ago
Msgr. John Hagan Monsignor John Hagan became rector of the Pontifical Irish College in Rome during the Irish War of Independence. The County Wicklow native, who had been vice-rector of the Catholic seminary since 1904, succeeded Michael O’Riordan in late 1919. Both priests were staunch Irish nationalists. Hagan was in close contact with Irish separatists and used the May 1920 beatification of Oliver Plunkett (1625-1681) as a propaganda coup that became known as “Sinn Féin Week in Rome.” In summer 1919, shortly before O’Riordan’s death, Hagan drafted an article for Vatican officials that sket ..read more
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A guide to celebrated, touristy Killarney in 1865
Mark Holan's Irish-American Blog
by Mark Holan
2M ago
One of my sisters, an inveterate antique store browser, occasionally sends me 19th and early 20th century books that she discovers during her explorations. Her most recent gift is a copy of Black’s Guide to Killarney and the South of Ireland, from 1865. The 1865 edition. Nineteenth century travel guide books developed with a simultaneous expansion of the tourist industry. Victorian era travelers were looking for sublime encounters with nature and ancient history. Comprehensive guides replaced the earlier travel narratives of individuals or groups who described only their specific journeys. T ..read more
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Visit to Old St. Patrick’s in New York City
Mark Holan's Irish-American Blog
by Mark Holan
2M ago
Over the years I’ve visited more than two dozen St. Patrick’s churches in four countries, as detailed in this special section. But one historic church eluded me until earlier this month, when I finally stepped inside the Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Lower Manhattan. As the first church in the United States dedicated to Ireland’s patron saint, it was the original cathedral of the Diocese of New York. The cornerstone was laid in 1809, and the completed church was consecrated in 1815. St. Pat’s became a target of the Know Nothings and other anti-Catholic and nativist movements. Dama ..read more
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